Matthew McAllister


Here is a video from a recent concert with the Organist Stuart Muir.

The footage is taken from their first ever concert together, the venue is The Caird HallDundee, where Stuart is the City Organist.

Muir & McAllister

“The only problem I have about a “brunch” is that it always leaves me wanting more of the same. That was exactly my feelings after yesterday’s lunchtime concert in the Caird Hall. Titled “Baroque for Brunch” it was a succession of tasty baroque morsels served up by Stuart Muir and Matthew McAllister, on organ and guitar respectively. Much more of the same would have gone down a treat.

The programme was simple in form but excellent in performance, four works by Handel interspersed with transcriptions for organ and guitar, all of which were heralded by one of the most familiar organ works of all, Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary.
I thought all three transcriptions were extremely well arranged and came over in similar excellent fashion, with the balance between the two instruments well-nigh perfect throughout. Bach’s Wachet Auf cantata was simple yet satisfying as was Albinoni’s famous Adagio, with the organ doing what no orchestra could do, supplying a wonderful reverberating 32 foot pedal stop on the final chord.

If these were good, the duo surpassed themselves with their performance of Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto in D major. It lost nothing in translation from its normal form and in fact I preferred it to the usual guitar and orchestra version, possibly due to the colours conjured out of the organ.

Stuart Muir’s solo spots, apart from the Clarke, were four movements from Handel’s Water Music, his personal tribute to the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. In these, he succeeded in doing what every good recitalist should do on this organ, and that is show off its many facets from the quiet Coro through an Air and Bourree to the splendid Hornpipe in which he really did let rip.

There were several secondary school pupils in attendance, each one on the process of studying music of the Baroque Period. It’s a pity they and others like them cannot be enticed to other such concerts because I’m sure they would find them as illuminating as they would have found yesterday’s.”

Gary Fraser The Courier 17th Sept ’09